August 5
Envy not success, nor pity failure,
for you know not what is success
or failure in the soul's reckoning.

Neale Donald Walsch


Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I do look at people and start to envy them.  After all, there are many people in the world who have many more things than I do, and many people in the world who aren't dealing with the problems that I am.  It's very easy to see the surface of these people's lives and get the idea that they have something that I should envy, that they're so well off in their situations that I should wish that I had what they have, or that I was in their situation instead of my own.

But all that I can see is the human side, the material side of those people's lives.  I used to envy a neighbor because he had a much higher salary than I, which meant that his family never struggled financially as mine did.  After I knew him a while, he told me that he and his wife were divorcing, as they hadn't been getting along together well for several years.  His spirit and hers had been hurting for a long time, but they both hid it well.  And one of the biggest problems that they had was his job--it took up much too much of his time, and even he wasn't happy with it.  So my envy for the lifestyle had been misplaced, for it came with a price that would have been very, very difficult to pay, indeed.

I do believe that there's more to what Neale's saying, though.  In the case of my friend, envying his success was useless because his success really didn't help him at all in his spirit.  The failure of his marriage was something that I couldn't pity, either, for it could be that such a thing was just what his and her spirits needed in order to learn what they need to learn.  And since we are primarily spiritual beings here on this planet to grow, our soul learning is even more important than any measures of success or failure that society can toss our way.

Both of them were okay in the long run.  They dealt with a lot of pain, but then they moved on.  His success at work had cost him and her greatly, and the failure of the marriage ended up making both of them stronger and wiser people.  So before we go about envying or pitying, we have to ask ourselves what's the best for the spirit--perhaps it's better just to keep an eye out to see how our friends and acquaintances are doing so that we can give them a hand if they need it, rather than focusing on our feelings about how they're doing.

Questions to consider:

Why does it so often turn out that "successful" people are going through many struggles in other areas of their lives?

Whom do you envy?  Whom do you pity?  Why?  Do you know that whole stories behind their success or failure?

How many things have seemed negative to you, but have been positive for your soul in the long run? 

For further thought:

Our rushing and our busyness create a fog layer that encloses us, surrounding us with thicker and thicker layers externally and building denser and denser fog layers within.  Pretty soon, we have lost touch with that which guides our lives.  We need contact with our spirituality to be the people we would like to be.

Anne Wilson Schaef


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